WATCH: Yoga Gives Hope, Heals Hearts

As we countdown to Wanderlust 108 Brooklyn on Sep. 13, we will be introducing you to some of our community…

As we countdown to Wanderlust 108 Brooklyn on Sep. 13, we will be introducing you to some of our community participating in the mindful triathlon.

Eddie Stern, will be speaking at the event and bringing a team of his Urban Yogis, a group of dedicated yoga and meditation practitioners from the Baisley Housing Projects in South Side Jamaica, Queens. We had a chance to speak with a few of these remarkable people and learn more about their stories.

For this installment, we spoke with Yuko, an incredible artist, cancer survivor and yogi who has a refreshing perspective on her journey and the world around her.

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Wanderlust: Can you give us an update on your health, now?
Yuko: I am quite healthy now. I do have some side effects from the chemo, radiation and surgery which make it harder for me to do deal with the cold and I have lost some mobility on my left side.

WL: That’s great! Can you give us an update on your practice and what it looks like and how it serves you?
Yuko: I am doing well in my Ashtanga practice . I am not modifying my practice as much as I used to when I was first recovering from cancer treatments. I feel mentally stronger for sure. I know the breath is most important.

WL: What does mindfulness mean to you?
Yuko: Mindfulness means being present. Acknowledging our thoughts, our feelings in the body. The body is filled with awareness when one is mindful.

WL: How is your yoga and your art connected?
Yuko: My art is an extension of my yoga practice. I don’t think I try to make my art beautiful or marketable. It is a practice that I do similar to my yoga practice. Sometimes it is a sort of purging and awareness practice of thoughts and feelings expressed visually. Sometimes my painting is like a meditation practice. I chant or listen to chanting of certain mantras when I paint.

WL: Can you share some advice for anyone who is facing something similar to you?
Yuko: Feel your feelings. Let them come. Try not to shut anything down and enjoy the time we have to be alive. Live and love! Gravitate to the positive.

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